It’s Saturday again and we’re winding down on a crazy 2016 MLS Season. Toronto and Seattle have just one week left to prep for this year’s Cup and then — after a quick four-day turnaround — we’re back into the swing of things for 2017 with the Expansion Draft and all kinds of craziness. But to hold you over until then, we’ve got a steady stream of Lion Links for you.
News is already coming out about potential moves for next year and who doesn’t love the wild speculation of the off-season in MLS? We’ve got all that and more for you in today’s links.
Jason Kreis on Extensive Scouting Trip
Orlando City’s head coach has been busy in his first off-season with the club. He’s already been travelling around South America and he’s off to Europe this coming week. Kreis specifically mentioned taking players on loan from new Brazilian partner club Atletico Paranaense, but nothing has been finalized. Kreis’s main goals are to repair the leaks in the defensive third and add more stability and experience to the Lions’ young core. If they have the sort of impact that Matías Pérez García has had in his short time here, there’s a lot to look forward to for City.
Felipe Melo to Orlando?
The 33-year-old defensive midfielder is set on moving away from Internazionale and word is he’s headed to the Americas. The Brazilian has enjoyed successful spells with Inter, Juventus, and Fiorentina in Serie A, as well as a stay with Galatasaray in Turkey. He’s also earned 22 caps for the Brazilian national team, scoring a goal against the U.S. in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Flamengo and Sao Paulo are reportedly already after the midfielder — trying to convince him to come back to his home country — but Melo’s brother lives in the United States and he’s expressed interest in living in Orlando or Miami. The only trouble is that his contract runs until 2018, so it’s probably best to put a pin in this rumor for now.
Kyle Callan-McFadden Lands at Sligo Rovers
After coming across the Atlantic from Norwich City, former Orlando City B defender Kyle Callan-McFadden has landed back in his home country at Sligo Rovers. Sligo is in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland, the top flight of soccer in the Republic. McFadden made 23 appearances at center back for the young Lions in their inaugural season playoff run. OCB declined to pick up his contract option early last month.
Mark Watson Could be Joining Adrian Heath at Minnesota United
Heath could be getting his band back together in St. Paul. Jeff Carlisle of ESPN believes that Mark Watson could be brought on as Heath’s assistant. Watson came to Orlando City ahead of the club’s inaugural MLS season after an unsuccessful attempt at managing the San Jose Earthquakes. He was let go by the club at the same time as Heath. It’s interesting to see the Loons attempt to recreate the coaching structure that Orlando believed wasn’t taking them in the right direction. It will be interesting to see the pair in City’s new stadium on the opposite bench.
Carolina Railhawks to Re-brand, Plan to Start NWSL side
The Raleigh NASL team has gotten a face-lift. The big secret has leaked a few days early that they will become North Carolina FC and plan on gunning for an MLS bid in the next 18 months. Their owners are planning to build their own 20,000-seat stadium and plan to fill it with another club. They have already trademarked the name Carolina Courage and could be bringing a new women’s team to the Southeast. I’m all for shorter road trips for the Pride.
That’s everything that we have for you today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and be sure to check back often for everything Orlando City.